On June 22, 1940 the war in Europe looked to be over, and a German victory a virtual certainty. The British, in their long running military tradition of celebrating hope in the jaws of defeat, had been forced to evacuate the British Expeditionary Force from Dunkirk, and France had been forced to sign an Armistice, with a collaborationist government headed by the hero of France, Field Marshall Philippe Petain. Yet, in many ways, this was not the end of the War, it was very beginning.
Similarly, the battle over gay marriage is not ending with the Supreme court, it is barely beginning. Yes, this is a major defeat, but it is not unexpected. Romans Chapter 1 tells us plainly that societies decline. There are two clear elements of the gay marriage debate, the first is the question of a gay couples relationship to the government, the second is that couple’s relationship to the rest of society. This latter issue is far more important for Christians than the former.
The next battle will continue to be debates over closely held Christian businesses in the wedding industry, as unbelieving society continues to focus on Stalinistic rehabilitation of Christian businesses. The next dominoes will likely be closely Christian businesses who treat gay couples different than legitimately married couples and Christian universities. Finally, their will likely be attempts to sue pastor’s who perform weddings for those who are not members of their congregations who “discriminate” against gay couples, or those who will not allow gay couples into membership. Many will argue that Christians are being hysterical, yet, these same voices argued if gay marriage became the law of the land, bakers and photographers would not be sued or fined out of business; I would question why we should believe the same left this time when they have a history of lying to the public in the past. Kennedy’s comments on religious liberty were wholly inadequate, allowing Christians to believe, but not to practice their faith, a clear violation of the “free exercise clause” of the first amendment (and the very term “exercise” requires that this must extend beyond mere allowance of individual beliefs).
Similarly, Justice Kennedy’s reasoning will likely open debates over polygamy, and perhaps incestuous and relationships involving those under the age of consent since one might very well argue that laws against pedophilia, incest and polygamy also deny human beings equal dignity under the law. The battle is, in many senses, then, just beginning.
Due to the nature of this discussion, I will write a quick series of articles, and will follow this up with a revision of my e-booklet Offering Incense to the Emperor later in the year (this will take time since I want to go over both the majority and all four dissenting opinions as well as a few other articles and works by other bloggers).
This series will entail multiple areas we must consider:
- Strategic The immediate reaction, and a search towards an adequate strategy.
- The decision – The logic of the Supreme Court is important in understanding where we are and where we are going.
- Political – We cannot avoid a political element in the discussion; I will of necessity have to insert my political opinions, which will also require some explanations.
- Legal – Christians and institutions are at risk, we need lawyers to help us dig the ditches, place the barb wire, and protect as much of our internal structure as necessary. Having lines of retreat may be necessary as well.
- Spiritual – There is a Spiritual dimension to apologetics, that is sometimes ignored, or dealt with inadequately.
1940 was not the end of World War 2, it was the beginning. It would look darker long before the dawn of an allied victory. Similarly, it likely will get darker for us. We may be forced into difficult choices as our theological forebears who refused to offer incense to the genus of the Emperor. Yet, we have read the last chapter of the book, and we know when He comes, He will reign victoriously.